Wild Swimming in Alderford Lake, Whitchurch.
A lot of what I do is overcoming the mental barrier to do it. This year a big goal is to gain confidence open water swimming. I’ve got confident in the pool now, so why not swimming outside too?
With the weather we’re having I knew it would be a good time to get my wetsuit back out. My last and first trip out in it wasn’t very successful at Manley Mere.
I messaged some friends I use to work with about Alderford Lake and I suddenly had plans to go open water swimming. With friends and not on my own this time.
For newbies to open water swimming I’d definitely say Alderford Lake is better than Manley Mere. Alderford has an island in the middle and jetty’s you can swim too. Once you start swimming at Manley you’re committed to the 250m loop.
Squeezing into my wetsuit, we ventured into the lake. The expanse of water between me and the island was daunting. I knew I could do it if I managed to stay calm, but it was that weird situation of stressing about being able to stay calm.
A few breaststroke’s in I was off. Slowly, but I was moving. I tried not to think about not being able to put my feet down and to just concentrate on my stroke instead.
I wasn’t quite ready to do front crawl, so I just carried on smoothly and calmly with breaststroke.
I must admit I was making my shoulders works that’s for certain!
Getting to the island was a massive hurdle for me. How far I swam probably wasn’t even that far, but I’d managed to keep my Chimp in its cage for once.
It was a big hurdle that also came as a massive relief. Like a massive weight off my shoulders had lifted. Open water triathlons have always been something I’ve wanted to do, but the swimming has stopped me doing it.
I’d love to have stayed in the water longer, but knew my body had dealt with quite a lot for the hour we were in there. It was better to get out when I felt good in the water, than let myself get too tired.
From the island we went to the other side of the lake, I had another break, then took the same route back. Swimming with other people definitely makes difference and I can’t thank Natalie and Emma for being so patient!
I’ve overcome the first big hurdle…onto front crawl in open water next!